Social Anxiety | 03 Jun 2020

Fear of Public Speaking

So, you might be wondering what gives me the qualifications to talk to you about public speaking? Can you get qualifications in public speaking? I certainly don’t have any, but what I do have is lot’s of experience.

Public speaking at school

My first experience of speaking in public, like most, was in my classroom at school. My face would burn bright red and I’d get so embarrassed. I used to talk as quietly as possible as the whole of the class would echo every word I said making fun of my slow and quiet voice.

It was never a pleasant experience for me. My first real exposure to public speaking was when I published my dissertation at university, and I had to present it at a conference. Wow was I  a nervous wreck! I still have the photo and I really was so shy and embarrassed that day, but I didn’t let it stop me.

Me receiving my degree

Public speaking beyond school

I was really fortunate to walk straight into the job I really wanted when I left uni. One problem though. It involved A LOT of public speaking! I was involved in building and creating a community of peer support groups for older people.

So many people told me to keep going. They reassured me that everything would get easier and feel better the more I did. But even as I progressed in my roles and got one promotion after another, after another. Seven years later and my nerves impacted on me so much that I was ready to burst into tears just before talking on BBC Radio Leeds about my teams in West Yorkshire.

Is hypnotherapy magic?

That was the moment I knew something had to change. I had to find a way to make this easier. And that’s when I went for hypnotherapy. I thought it was going to be a magic wand! Haha! It was not a magic wand. It was hard work and sheer determination to not let this get the better of me.

But, I did it! And it was amazing! I love the feeling I get after public speaking now and now I’m self employed and regularly choose (yes, you heard right, I choose) to go and do guest speaking myself!

So, long story, long (oops!) that is why I am qualified to talk to you about public speaking.

How can I increase my confidence with public speaking?

Let’s take a look at planning and building your confidence around public speaking.

Task 1:

Write down three barriers to you achieving your goal.

Task 2:

Write down three things that would let you know you are ready.

Now consider how you would be prepare  to be that ready?

If you were feeling 10/10, completely on top of the world that day you were preparing, what would you be doing differently?

What would you look like? Stop for a moment and think about someone you admire who you look up to when they do public speaking. What would they be like if it was them doing it? How would they feel do you think? How would they hold their stance? Would their chin be up slightly? Would their shoulders be back and upright? What else? Imagine stepping in their body, their skin for the day.

If you would like help with being more confident in public speaking, get in touch.